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708 LANGUAGE, VOLUME 62, NUMBER 3 (1986) in Dutch and English, with language-specific rules for stress shift. G supports his claims (in part) with some empirical investigation and naturally occurring data (which, however, he fails to distinguish consistently from his constructed examples). Although the essays are diverse in nature, they argue in general for the view that intonation conveys context-independent meaning —which nonetheless requires context for its full interpretation. Ofthe nine articles presented here, all but one (Ch. V) have appeared elsewhere, during 198384 , in roughly their current form. Thus a certain amount ofoverlap exists, especially in the rules for accent placement; G defines his Stress Accent Assignment Rule (SAAR) four times, almost verbatim (pp. 28, 69, 102, 152). References to other chapters in the collection are sometimes made to the original publications, sometimes to the current volume. The book also lacks an index, which makes it difficult to access a complete discussion of any given topic. In G's theory, SAAR predicts accent assignment in Dutch and English on the basis of two factors: (a) the predicate/argument structure of the sentence, and (b) an inferred 'focal domain'. G dismisses such terms as 'salience' and 'importance ' as ill-defined (102); however, his notion of 'focus' is left deliberately undefined (14), although he often seems to associate it with M. A. K. Halliday's 'new information'. G posits types of semantic constituents which comprise predicate/argument structure: arguments , which function as subjects or objects; predicates, which function as 'syntactic predicates '; and conditions, which function as adverbial adjuncts. For a given utterance, at least one such constituent will be marked [+focus]. SAAR operates by assigning one or more focal domains and then assigning one accent for each such domain. But this strategy for accent assignment has the unfortunate consequence of obscuring the boundary between pragmatics and semantics. Furthermore, the full nature of the representation on which rules like SAAR are intended to operate is not entirely clear. While G claims that an enriched predicate/argument structure is sufficient for his purposes (69), in fact this enrichment involves not only the pragmatic information status of the focus feature, but also syntactic adjacency relations (51, 72), morphological features (73), 'considerations of cultural normalcy' (41), and features such as [counter-assertive] and [polarity focus], whose status in the grammar is unclear. SAAR thus conflates the various components of the grammar in a theoretically unmotivated manner, obscuring the relationship between prosody and other linguistic subsystems. A number of putative counter-examples to SAAR are explained by G as resulting from the application of a rule he terms 'intonational topicalization '. This rule can apply to any constituent 'irrespective of [its] focus marking' (31) and has the effect of making that constituent [ +focus]. Such a rule not only accounts for the counter-examples which G discusses, but in fact accounts for all accent placement. Since no constraints whatever exist on the application of intonational topicalization, other rules (e.g. SAAR) are redundant. G admits that, on occasion, SAAR does make incorrect predictions. He contends, however, that 'The fact that speakers may on occasion choose not to apply the rule should not be seen as "invalidating" that rule in any way' (109). Two 'genuine' exceptions to SAAR, G says, involve what he terms 'idiomatic' nucleus placement (e.g. Stranger things have HAPpened, where SAAR predicts STRANGer things have happened) or 'conventionalized usage in the world ofbroadcasting' (e.g. Germany CALLing vs. SAAR's GERmany calling). He concludes (111): 'Both exceptions, I would suggest, only bring out the correctness of the generalization expressed by SAAR.' The variety ofempirical methodologies which G brings to bear is certainly to be commended. However, it is difficult to tell why his theory is to be preferred over possible alternative formulations for stress assignment. G provides little clarification of the role of intonation in the grammar. [Julia Hirschberg, AT&TBellLabs, and Gregory Ward, Northwestern University.] On the paradigmatic dimension ofmorphological creativity. By Jaap van Marle. (Publications in language sciences, 18.) Dordrecht, Holland & Cinnaminson, NJ: Foris, 1985. Pp. 328. /42.00. M here attempts to elucidate what he believes to be a major concern of any theory of word formation: speakers' ability to coin...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 708-710
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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